Hello there, dear users! I am Maurizio, Tabbles’ developer (yes, the only one so far. Hopefully this is going to change :)). After 10 months of development, I think Tabbles is now stable enough for me to be able to spend some time writing. Yes, there are bugs, and there will always be. But overall, I think I can afford to blog once a week.
In this blog I’d like to discuss, among other things, the directions we are considering to take, the choices we are making, our long-run vision, as well as more technical topics about development (like technology and bugs). Your comments are welcome and are likely to affect our decisions.
My first post will be one about future directions.
You may have noticed that Tabbles already provides a new way to use your computer, allowing you to find the data you need by concept, as opposed to by physical location. This is both quicker and more natural than using folders. However, there are many different directions this could evolve.
One possibility which looks appealing to me is to extend Tabbles to become a social networking application (a-la Facebook). The idea is the following. First, you extend tabbles to contain “notes” (in addition to files and URIs). Then you allow the user to share one or more tabbles across the Internet. Shared tabbles would be visible to anyone that you authorize. So everyone, by opening a tabble that you shared, will be able to read news about you (which you have shared), or to download files which you have shared, or to see links which you have shared.
For example, suppose your name is “John Ford”. You would right click the tabble “John Ford” and choose “add new note here”; you would then type the note you want to share with the world, and possibly add some pictures. Then, if someone opens tabble “John Ford”, and sorts the content by creation date, he would see your new note on top. By clicking the note, he would be able to read it.
Similarly, if you had put a file in the “John Ford” tabble, someone else would be able to open it. (The file would first be downloaded to your machine, across the internet, then opened by Tabbles.)
Would you value such a feature? Would you have some improvements to suggest? How important would it be for the user to be able to modify a file shared by another user?
The second possibility is to extend Tabbles with a client-server architecture. This would be useful in enterprise scenarios such as the following: one person categorizes all the company’s files (by creating a set of tabbles and linking them to the files); then everyone else in the company’s network will be able see those tabbles, and therefore will be able to find the files by concept (without having categorized those files himself).
If we implement that, one thing that must be decided is whether the files themselves reside on a central server or on a single user’s machine. Whatever we choose, it is unlikely that more than one user will be able to modify a given file at the same time.
There are other big features that we want to add Tabbles, namely archiving and Exporer integration, which I will talk about in later posts.
By now, I hope I have given you an idea of how difficult it is for us to understand what features people value the most, and what kind of customers to target (corporate or home users). Most importantly, we have to find a path that is within our reach and allows us to become profitable.